History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
As early as 1904, G. Frank Robinson was operating an undertaking parlor from the second floor of his furniture store in Damascus, Virginia. When Mock-Wright bought Mr. Robinson's business in 1912, L. H. Wright became the undertaker. In 1938, Herbert L. Wright purchased the undertaking business from Mock-Wright and soon moved it from the furniture store to a small former hotel across the street.
In 1949, Wright Funeral Home moved into a new two-story brick building that Wright had built for this purpose. The firm is still located there today. Just prior to his retirement in 1972, Wright sold the business to John Mullins, a funeral service licensee originally from Clintwood, Virginia, and the name was changed to Mullins Funeral Home. In October 1977, Mullins sold the firm to Bob Johnson of Coeburn, Virginia, who changed the name to Johnson Funeral Home.
During 1990, the Johnson Funeral Home building was completely remodeled - from new carpet on the floor to new shingles for the roof, new furniture, padding for the chapel pews, and new paint inside and out.
Effective October 1, 2001, Johnson Funeral Home was renamed Garrett Funeral Home. The funeral home was named for Todd Garrett who is the manager there. Richard Tetrick, President of Heritage Family Funeral Services, stated, "Todd stands for the funeral home. Not only is he the licensed funeral director and manager there, he is the symbol of the funeral home in the community. Todd is a 'home-town' boy who has done extremely well in his chosen field. After receiving training, he chose to return to his native community, where his family lives, to pursue his career. We are very pleased and consider it fitting to name the funeral home Garrett Funeral Home."
Our Valued Staff
Todd Garrett, Owner/Manager
Todd, a licensed funeral director and embalmer in both Virginia and Tennessee, is the manager of Garrett Funeral Home. Todd is a native of Damascus, Virginia, and attended Holston High School where he was the captain and quarterback of the football team. He attended the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, Cincinnati, Ohio, where he graduated sixth in his class "Cum Laude" in 1992 with an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science. Todd is a member of the Virginia Institute of Funeral Professionals and is a former president of the Southwest Virginia Funeral Directors Association. Todd and his wife, Penny, who was homecoming queen of Holston High School, are members of the First Baptist Church and have a son, Nicholas Peyton Garrett, and a daughter, Madison Nicolle Garrett.
Penny Garrett, Administrative Assistant
Penny, a native of Damascus, Virginia and graduate of Holston High School and Emory & Henry College where she received her degree in Business and Accounting. She is a member of the First Baptist Church and is the wife of Todd Garrett. Penny is the cofounder of the Penny F. Garrett Sarcoma Foundation that works to raise money for cancer research through her local town annual event, the Creeper Trail Ride to End Cancer, held every year at the end of July. Penny and Todd have two children, Nicholas Peyton Garrett and Madison Nicolle Garrett.
Dennis French, Funeral Assistant
Dennis, a native of Damascus, Virginia, graduated from Damascus High School where he played all sports. Dennis is a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving for four years. He was employed with American Cyanamid Company and Bayer Corporation for twenty-five years. During this time he studied chemistry and accounting at Virginia Highlands Community College and served both chemical companies as Production Manager. When the chemical plant closed in 1987, Dennis was employed with the Washington County Public School System as Division Operations Administrator for sixteen years. He retired from the school division in 2003. Dennis began working part-time for Garrett Funeral Home in 2005. He also played semi-pro baseball for several years. Dennis is a life long member of the Damascus United Methodist Church. Dennis and his wife, Darlene, have a son, Patrick, and two daughters, Penny Garrett and Olivia Jones. They have three grandchildren, Peyton and Madison Garrett, and Jack Jones.
John Thacker, Funeral Assistant
John, a native of Washington County, graduated from Abingdon High School in 1987. After high school , he graduated from Virginia Highlands Community College and then to Emory and Henry College where he received his B.S. in Physical Education. Thereafter, he married Amy Louise Stringer. They have been happily married for 20 years. They have two children, Kayla, an incoming freshman at Virginia Tech and Conrad, a junior at Holston High School. John has taught school in Washington County for 20 years. He has also coached football, baseball, and golf in our county high schools. John says, “It has been and will continue to be my pleasure serving the community and people of Washington County.”
Kenneth Meredith, Funeral Assistant
Kenneth, was born on May 26, 1946 in Marion, Virginia and was raised in Chilhowie, Virginia on the family farm. He graduated from Chilhowie High School in June 1964 and went to work as a bookkeeper and accounting clerk. In June 1966 he went to work for United Inter-Mountain Telephone Company in the accounting department. He received an associate degree in accounting from ETSU and a Bachelor of Bible degree from Tennessee Temple University. Kenneth has been in the ministry for forty-six years and has driven a school bus for twenty-nine years. He has operated a motor coach for Virginia Tech Sports and is currently driving for Premier Transportation, Knoxville, Tennessee. He is living in Damascus, Virginia and is the pastor of the Damascus Methodist Circuit consisting of Wrights Chapel, Laurel Community, and Zion Methodist Churches all in Damascus, Virginia.